That day, the AE1 and another vessel, the HMAS Parramatta, went on patrol but while the Parramatta sailed back into harbour, the AE1 did not. It was never seen again. It was the first wartime loss for the Royal Australian Navy, yet the exact reason for its sinking remains unclear. Naval historians said ships could find no trace of AE-1 after it sank.
The submarine wreckage
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Thursday it was located more than 300 meters (984 feet) below the surface, near the Duke of York Islands, off the coast of Papua New Guinea, in a search using a Dutch-owned survey vessel , Fugro Equator, that started only last week. The first image of the submarine in its current state appears to show it still in one piece. The Australian government was now trying to contact descendants of those killed on board. Payne said a commemorative service was held to remember those who died after the vessel was found. Australia will now discuss with the Papua New Guinean government the building of a lasting memorial and ways to preserve the site.